If you just need to validate one or two sites, go with single-name and wildcard certificates. However, if you need to certify multiple domains, choose a multi-domain SSL certificate. Pick the best certificate depending on whether you want to certify one, several, or all of your domains and subdomains.
Is a free SSL certificate enough for your website?
- Adding a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate to your website is a cybersecurity best practice. However, it can be hard to know if a free one is enough for your website, and which paid solution to choose if it isn’t. Although there are many types of SSL certificates available, it’s possible to find a solution that is ideal for your site.
How do I choose a SSL certificate for my website?
How to choose a certificate:
- Identify the property types you wish to protect (domain, sub-domain).
- Identify if you need protection for a single property or multiple properties (wildcard or multiple domain).
- Then, decide which level of protection you need. domain-validated — LOW. organization-validated — MEDIUM.
Which SSL certificate is best for website?
Below are the best SSL certificate providers of 2021:
- Comodo SSL. A provider with commendably aggressive pricing.
- DigiCert. This SSL provider snapped up Norton.
- Entrust Datacard. A slick company run by experts in the security field.
- Network Solutions.
How many SSL certificates do I need?
One SSL is required per website; though there are some various different SSL types, you really only need one certificate per website and a free one will do the trick. Most hosting companies will charge extra for SSL Certificates, or at most, only offer a free SSL for one year.
What are the differences between SSL certificates?
There are three types of SSL Certificate available today; Extended Validation (EV SSL), Organization Validated (OV SSL) and Domain Validated (DV SSL). The encryption levels are the same for each certificate, what differs is the vetting and verification processes needed to obtain the certificate.
How do I know what type of SSL certificate I have?
For most browsers, look to see if a site URL begins with “https,” which indicates it has an SSL certificate. Then click on the padlock icon in the address bar to view the certificate information.
How do I verify my SSL certificate?
To verify a certificate, a browser will obtain a sequence of certificates, each one having signed the next certificate in the sequence, connecting the signing CA’s root to the server’s certificate. This sequence of certificates is called a certification path.
What is SSL certificate for website?
An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity and enables an encrypted connection. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a security protocol that creates an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser.
How do I choose a certificate Authority?
How to Choose the Right Certificate Authority Partner
- Pick a Thought Leader. Ideally you should look for an experienced CA that follows best practices and encourages partners to do the same.
- Lean on Customer Service.
- Optimize Your Efficiency with Tools.
- Select a CA Partner that Does It All.
- Our Offering.
How do I make sure a website is secure?
How to know if a website is secure?
- Check the SSL certificate.
- Analyze if the site has a modern theme.
- Use security tools to evaluate the site.
- Check the URL.
- Be wary of security seals.
- Find out who owns the site.
- Escape spam.
Can I use the same SSL certificate on multiple sites?
You absolutely can use one SSL certificate for multiple domains — or one SSL certificate for multiple subdomains in addition to domains. For securing multiple domains with a single SSL certificate we use either a multi domain/UCC/SAN certificate or a multi domain wildcard SSL certificate.
Can a website have 2 SSL certificates?
You can install multiple SSL certificates on a domain, but first a word of caution. A lot of people want to know whether you can install multiple SSL certificates on a single domain. The answer is yes. And there are plenty of websites that do.
Can I have multiple certificates for the same domain?
There’s no mechanism that would stop you from issuing multiple certificates for the same domain. In fact, that’s what you do every time you renew your SSL certificate — you issue a new certificate while the old one is still active. So, at least for a while, you have two certificates for the same domain.
What is the best free SSL certificate?
The Top 6 Best Free SSL Certificates
- Bluehost — Best Web Hosting Provider with a Free SSL Certificate.
- Wix — Best Website Builder with a Free SSL Certificate.
- GoDaddy — Best Free and Paid SSL Certificates.
- Let’s Encrypt — Most Popular Free SSL.
- SSL For Free — Best For Free 90-Day Certificates.
How many types of certificates are there?
There are three main types of certificates: domain validated (DV), organization validated (OV), and extended validation (EV). An authentic authority must obtain the certificate so that users won’t see this message. Any certificate will provide the same level of protection, no matter the type of validation.
How do I make my website https for free?
- Host with a dedicated IP address. The first step is to ensure that you’re hosting with a dedicated IP address.
- Buy an SSL certificate. Once you have a dedicated IP address, purchase your SSL certificate.
- Request the SSL certificate.
- Install the certificate.
- Configure your site to enable HTTPS.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Choosing an SSL Certificate
Attention: This page has been updated to reflect changes in the way websites with extended validation certificates appear in browsers as of November 1, 2018. A useful infographic titled What Kind of SSL/TLS Certificate Do I Need? was just produced by the CA Security Council (CASC), an advocacy group dedicated to the promotion of internet security that we joined in 2013. (check it out below this post). While the infographic offers a wonderful high level overview of the primary possibilities for certificates and provides some examples for each, we have a lot of inquiries on this topic, so I thought some further explanation would be beneficial to our readers and visitors.
Step 1 – Is Your Domain Registered?
First and foremost, you must register your domain name before you can apply for an SSL Certificate that is publicly recognized (meaning the kind you need for public websites, more on this below). This is due to the fact that Certificate Authorities (CAs), the entities that give certificates, must verify domain ownership in order to issue certificates. Because registering your domain is a must for creating a public website, the chances are that, at the very least, if you’re intending to create a public website, you’ve already completed this step and may go to Step 2.
What If Your Domain Isn’t Registered?
If your domain name isn’t registered, it’s probable that you’re referring to an internal server name. In a private network, an internal name is a domain or IP address that is used to identify the network as such:
- Server names that have a non-public domain name suffix (for example, mydomain.local or mydomain.internal)
- NetBIOS names, short hostnames, or anything else that is not in the public domain
- A valid IPv4 address in the RFC 1918 range (e.g., 10.0.0.0, 172.16.0.0, 192.168.0.0)
- A valid IPv6 address in the RFC 4193 range
- And a valid MAC address in the RFC 1918 range.
Caution: As of November 2015, certificate authorities (CAs) are forbidden from issuing publicly trusted SSL Certificates that contain internal server names or reserved IP addresses. Shortly put, this is due to the fact that these names are not unique and are used internally, making it impossible for a CA to verify that the firm owns it (for example, numerous organizations may have an internal mail system at the following address: Check read our white paper for a more in-depth discussion of the risks associated with internal names in public SSL Certificates.
SSL for Internal Server Names
Consequently, what can you do if you want to ensure that connections between your internal servers, which utilize internal server names, are secure? You won’t be able to utilize a publicly trusted SSL Certificate, thus one alternative is to use self-signed certificates, or to set up an internal CA (for example, Microsoft CA) and issue certificates from that location. While these are all valid choices, maintaining your own CA involves a significant amount of internal knowledge and may be time- and resources-consuming.
Because they are issued from a non-public root, they are not subject to the same restrictions that apply to public certificates.
As a result, they can contain information such as internal server names and reserved IP addresses. This manner, you may secure your internal servers without having to deal with the burden of establishing your own certificate authority or issuing your own self-signed certificates.
Step 2 – What Trust Level Do You Require?
All SSL Certificates provide session security and encrypt any information supplied through a website; however, they differ in terms of how much identifying information is contained in the certificate and how they appear in browsers when they are shown. Extended Validation (EV), Organization Validated (OV), and Domain Validated (DV) are the three major trust levels for SSL Certificates, ranked from highest to lowest in order of importance (DV). “How much confidence do you want to transmit to your visitors?” should be the most important question to ask yourself while picking between trust levels.
Do you want your company’s logo to be prominently shown in the browser’s address bar, or do you want it to be included in the certificate itself?
Please see our associated page for a more in-depth description of each category.
Extended Validation (EV) Certificates
EV Certificates include the greatest amount of corporate information, and organizations must first achieve the highest and most strict standards of any sort of SSL Certificate before being granted a certificate. They also provide the greatest credibility to your website by showing your company’s verified identity front and center – clearly displaying your company’s name with a closed padlock – and by bringing your business’s verified identity front and center. In Chrome, an example of a site that has been protected using an EV Certificate
Organization Validated (OV) Certificates
Additionally, OV Certificates offer business authentication, which means that information about your firm is included; however, unlike EV Certificates, this information is not presented as clearly as it is with other certificates. Visitors must examine the certificate details in order to be able to access the identifying information about your organization. In Chrome, below is an example of OV Certificate info. You may examine the information about the firm that is contained in the Subject.
Domain Validated (DV) Certificates
DV Certificates are the most basic sort of SSL Certificate, including the least amount of identifying information and just demonstrating that the website owner has administrative power over the domain. DV Certificates are the most often used type of SSL Certificate in the world. While DV Certificates provide session encryption (which is clearly preferable to nothing), they do not contain any information about the entity that issued the certificate. In the case of a DV SSL Certificate issued to verify that it is in fact operated by Company ABC, for example, there is nothing in the certificate to validate this.
The surge in impostor and phishing websites leads us to propose that website administrators utilize SSL Certificates that include corporate identification information (e.g, OV orEV) so that site visitors can see who owns a domain name.
Step 3 – How Many Domains Do You Need to Protect with This Certificate?
If you simply need to secure a single domain (for example, example.com), you should get a single domain certificate, also known as a standard certificate. You can select from three different levels of trust: DV, OV, and EV. A Wildcard or Multi-domain Certificate, on the other hand, is recommended if you need to secure numerous domains (for example, for regional sites –.com,.co.uk,.de), or many sub-domains (for example, for customer areas – login-secure.example.com). One certificate to cover many fully qualified domain names (FQDNs) is more cost-effective than obtaining several individual certificates, and it also simplifies maintenance, especially when it comes to renewal time.
The purchase of a Multi-domain Certificate is recommended if you wish to secure many domains (for instance, example.com, example.net, and example.co.uk) with a single SSL certificate. Multi-domain certificates allow you to secure many domain names with a single certificate, saving you time and money. In order to protect the privacy of the domain names, subject alternative names (SANs) are specified within the certificate, which is why these certificates are commonly referred to as SAN certificates.
The purchase of a Multi-domain Certificate is recommended if you wish to secure many domains (for instance, example.com, example.net, and example.co.uk) with one certificate. Multi-domain certificates allow you to secure numerous domain names with a single certificate, reducing the number of certificates you need to maintain. In order to protect the privacy of the domain names, subject alternative names (SANs) are specified within the certificate, which is why these certificates are commonly referred to as “SAN certificates.”
Tips for Choosing or Purchasing the Right SSL Certificate for Website Security
A diverse selection of certifications, a variety of categories, and an abundance of CAs. Which one should I pick? Here are our special recommendations for enhancing your website’s security by selecting the most appropriate SSL certificate for your website. Technology is a developing trend, and there are several things that a company can do to ensure that it maintains its high growth rates. In today’s technological world, having a web presence for any established organization is essential, whether it is a tiny family-run operation or a multinational corporation.
- It is critical to have a safe website that builds confidence and has a high conversion rate in order to succeed.
- Users regularly connect with and interact with technology in a variety of ways on a daily basis online, and as a result, they are always searching for and surfing the web.
- However, many consumers are concerned about the security of their information before proceeding to the checkout page.
- An SSL security certificate is critical for building trust and increasing confidence, both of which are important factors in the success of an online business.
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology has been specifically conceived, developed, and applied to safeguard users’ sensitive information from professional hackers as it is sent over the internet.
- Because SSL is such a crucial aspect in establishing a great web presence that is safe for consumers, it is necessary to examine the online brand reputation of the company.
- It is advised that a first-time SSL buyer contact an SSL provider to learn more about the many options available and to grasp the intricacies so that they may select the most reputable SSL brand and solution for their website’s requirements.
Each certificate has a unique set of features that distinguishes it from the others. When it comes to selecting the best SSL certificate, these characteristics are critical. So, how do you select the most appropriate one? Let’s have a look and see.
Which Validation Level to Choose?
A single function is performed by every type of SSL certificate—that of encrypting the information transmitted between a browser and a server. They are, nevertheless, entirely distinct from one another. Initial classification of SSL certificates is based on the validation procedure that takes place prior to the certificate being issued. There are three primary kinds of SSL certificates to consider. You’re probably wondering what this validation is all about. Before a certificate can be issued, it must first go through the validation procedure.
- Validation is a key step from the perspective of cyber security since it assures that certificates are only provided to authentic owners or organizations.
- From one certificate to another, the format varies.
- There are three categories of SSL certificates in general.
- We’ve gone through each and every one of them in depth below.
Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificate:
A DV SSL certificate is the most basic sort of SSL certificate. It is used to protect websites from hackers. This is due to the fact that it just needs a basic amount of verification. As hinted by the name, domain verification certificates (DV certificates) are exclusively concerned with confirming domain ownership. You are therefore ready to start as soon as you provide the CA with proof that you control the domain name. The DV certificates are intended for use on websites that do not handle any sensitive information.
The trust-signs that come with DV SSL are not very extensive.
However, you have no way of knowing if the website belongs to the firm.
As a result, we do not recommend that you use DV SSL unless you are not dealing with any sensitive information.
Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificate:
When compared to DV SSL certificates, OV SSL certificates offer a significant improvement. OV SSL is sometimes referred to as ‘enterprise authentication’ in some circles. OV SSL certificates, in contrast to DV SSL certificates, display information about the firm. However, there is a restriction to this method. To learn more about the firm, the site visitor must navigate to the certificate information page.
It is possible that the average user will not be able to locate it. Before granting a certificate, the certificate authority (CA) conducts a business validation as well as domain validation. The issuer is required to produce documentation demonstrating the authenticity of the entity in question.
Extended Validation SSL (EV) Certificate:
When it comes to delivering the highest degree of verification possible, Extended Validation SSL certificates (EV SSL) are the best choice. This is one of the reasons why the greatest e-commerce enterprises in the world place their confidence in extended validation SSL certificates. When an Extended Validation SSL certificate is installed, the website is outfitted with immediately visible trust-signs such as a green address bar, a green padlock, and–most importantly–dynamic site seals. Aside from these indications, the firm name is clearly visible in the address bar of the browser.
This results in an increase in client confidence, which in turn leads to an increase in income for you.
How Many Domains do you want to Secure?
Another important consideration when selecting the appropriate SSL certificate is the amount of domains you intend to protect with the certificate. The purchase of a single certificate is a no-brainer if you only want to protect a single domain name. However, most of the time, website owners will need to register more than one domain name. These domains may be classified into two categories: fully qualified domains and sub-domains. Fully qualified domains are the most common type of domain. Confused?
Refer to the next section for a better understanding so that you may make an informed decision without much difficulty.
Wildcard SSL Certificate:
SSL certificates that include a wildcard character (*) allow you to protect an unlimited number of subdomains in addition to the main domain with a single SSL certificate. By utilizing Wildcard SSL, you may protect domains such as the ones listed below.
- Domain.com (the primary domain)
- And more subdomains
Wildcard SSL certificates are advantageous in two ways. First, they are more flexible. For starters, it saves you the effort of having to purchase and install a separate certificate for each of your domain addresses. It is not necessary to go through the complete validation procedure in order to obtain an SSL certificate as a result. This saves a substantial amount of time for both of you! Second, it saves you a significant amount of money since you will no longer be required to pay for each and every SSL certificate.
Multi-domain/SAN SSL Certificate:
A multi-domain/SAN SSL certificate is an improvement over a Wildcard SSL certificate in terms of security. Multi-domain SSL certificates, as opposed to Wildcard SSL certificates, allow the user to secure several fully-qualified domains as well as many sub-domains at the same time. As a result, if you wish to secure more than one principal domain, a SAN SSL certificate is the best option.
When compared to a Wildcard SSL certificate, a Multi-domain/SAN SSL certificate is an improvement.
The Multi-domain SSL certificate is different from the Wildcard SSL certificate in that it allows the user to secure several fully-qualified domains as well as many sub-domains. As a result, if you wish to safeguard many principal domains, a SAN SSL certificate is the best option.
Reputation of the Certificate Authority (CA)
When it comes to the issuer(CA), there are a plethora of alternatives to pick from these days. It is absolutely necessary to select the very finest from among the available options. What criteria do you use to determine which is the best? The reputation of the CA, on the other hand, is something that you should look for. The CA’s market share is one of the most important indicators of this. When millions of people throughout the world place their faith in a CA, it places a tremendous amount of responsibility on the CA’s shoulders.
For them to stay one step ahead of cyber attackers, they must continue to research and create new tactics.
Some certificate authorities (CAs) have been blocked by web browsers in the past, although this has not happened recently.
What are your plans in case anything like this happens?
As previously stated, the validation technique varies depending on the level being validated. If you want the certificate to be granted in minutes rather than hours, you should consider domain validation if it meets your needs. In the case of OV SSL, it takes around 2-3 days to receive the certificate. Because of the extensive level of examination required, the EV SSL takes around 2-4 days to complete. The time period described above is the most favorable. If the CA has any doubts, they may request further documentation from you, which may result in the issuing process taking a little longer than expected.
When it comes to selecting the correct SSL certificate, this element will always be as important as any other thing to consider. There are a variety of elements that influence the pricing of an SSL certificate. These considerations include the brand, the kind of SSL, the validity term, and so forth. All of these considerations should be taken into consideration. If you want to use an SSL certificate for a period of more than a year, opting for the multi-year option will provide significant savings in terms of price.
Additional Security Elements
Some certificate authorities (CAs) include additional security features with their SSL certificates. These technologies have shown to be beneficial in maintaining the security of your website. As a result, before making a decision, seek for these characteristics.
In the event of a problem, it is usually preferable to have a professional on hand to help you through the process. Having access to customer service can save you from a variety of difficulties. Look for an SSL supplier that provides you with customer service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Support may be provided via chat, email, phone calls, and other means.
But Which One is Right for Me?
If you are unfamiliar with the subject of SSL, selecting the most appropriate certificate might be a difficult undertaking.
To make things simpler, I recommend that you ask yourself the following three questions:
- The goal of installing an SSL certificate is to protect my information. Which validation level do I require based on the aim of my project
- Do I want to protect a specific number of principal domains and subdomains?
Please see the infographic below, which was given by CACS. What is a SAN Certificate, and how does it work? SAN SSL Certificate Specifications and Information
A comprehensive guide to SSL certificates
There is a comprehensive selection of SSL solutions available on the market today that cater to a variety of domain and security requirements. Although many webmasters are investigating the alternatives, thinking that switching to SSL would improve their search rankings, it may be confusing to try to evaluate all of the options, much alone properly comprehend what you’re paying for in the first place. Many SSL providers give a plethora of add-ons, which makes comparing providers a challenging task.
- In which form of SSL certificate should I invest my money
- Using a free certificate or purchasing one from a vendor: which is preferable? When it comes to protecting a subdomain, which certificate is the most appropriate? There are several domains. What level of warranty protection do I require
- What is the best way to troubleshoot typical installation issues?
What is an SSL certificate?
Before we get into the specifics, let’s go over some fundamentals. In computing, SSL is an abbreviation for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a security technology that allows for the encryption of data while it is transported across a network. SSL certificates assist to safeguard the transmission of sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords and usernames, Social Security numbers, and other similar information over the internet.
How does it work?
SSL certificates make use of a public key and a private key, which are used in conjunction to establish an encrypted connection between two computers. As a rule, data exchanged between an internet browser and a web server is delivered as plain text, making you exposed to hackers.
Why use SSL?
A key advantage of utilizing an SSL certificate is that it provides encrypted protection for sensitive information being transferred over the internet. (In fact, if you collect credit card information on your website, you are obliged to obtain an SSL certificate by the Payment Card Industry (PCI).) SSL certificates can also assist you in gaining the confidence of your consumers and protecting them against phishing scams. Additionally, Google now gives a tiny ranking advantage to websites that use HTTPS as their connection protocol.
However, as Google’s Gary Illyes has hinted, more strict controls will be implemented in the future.
There are three sorts of certificates that are often used. The most appropriate one will be determined by the level of protection required by your website. A domain-validated SSL certificate, sometimes referred to as a low assurance certificate, is the most common form of certificate that is granted by the government.
Automated validation guarantees that the domain name has been registered and that the request has been approved by an administrator. It is necessary for the webmaster to either confirm by email or establish a DNS record for the site before the validation process can be finished.
- Processing time ranges from a few minutes to many hours. Use on internal systems only is recommended
- External systems should not be used.
Depending on the complexity of the case, processing time might range from minutes to hours. Use on internal systems alone is recommended; external systems are not recommended.
- Processing time ranges from a few hours to many days. All enterprises and corporations are encouraged to use it.
Many hours to several days for processing; This product is recommended for: all enterprises and corporations.
- Processing time ranges from a few days to many weeks. This product is recommended for: all-commerce enterprises
GEOTrust, DigiCert, Symantec(formerly Verisign), and others are some of the most well-known SSL certificate authorities. There are other third-party resellers, such as NameCheap and Comodo, that provide the same level of security at a lower cost.
What about free certificates?
You might wonder why you should pay for something that is already free. In the event that a user attempts to access a website that is secured with a self-signed or free SSL certificate, most web browsers will display an error message. It’s possible that many visitors will click “Get me out of here!” and never return, despite the fact that some individuals will check “I understand the risks” before proceeding to your site. The actual issue is that self-signed certificates are essentially uncontrolled, which creates a significant risk.
When testing behind a firewall, the only time a self-signed certificate should be utilized is in the testing phase.
The PayPal website will manage the security of the transaction on your behalf.
What kind of warranty should I look for?
Similar to any other sort of insurance, the cost of SSL certificates varies greatly depending on the quantity of warranty coverage they provide. The guarantee that you receive when you acquire an SSL certificate, on the other hand, might be deceiving. It is not a warranty to the purchaser (you), but rather a warranty to the end users of the product. So, to summarize: If an individual experiences financial loss as a result of conducting business with an impersonating website, the certificate authority may be held responsible for failing to provide an appropriate browser warning and so protecting the individual.
Take note: this is something that hardly never happens!
For the guarantee to be honored, however, the end user would have to make a note of which SSL provider the fraudulent website was using and contact them directly in order to get compensation.
Securing multiple properties
SSL certificates with a single name protect only a single domain. Purchasing a certificate for, for example, would not be sufficient protection. baking.wonderfullywhisked.com. Wildcard certificates allow you to secure an unlimited number of subdomains that are based on a single root domain by using only one certificate. Take, for example, the domain wonderfulwhisked.com and its subdomains, which you would want to safeguard. A wildcard certificate with the common name *.wonderfullywhisked.com would need to be requested in this instance.
A wildcard certificate may easily pay for itself over time, particularly if you need to secure four or more subdomains at the same time.
Another advantage is that managing a single wildcard certificate is significantly simpler than managing 12 individual certificates. Multi-domain certificates may cover a total of 210 distinct domains with a single certificate, which is quite convenient (depending on the provider you choose).
Troubleshooting common problems
There are a few typical mistakes that might cause your SSL certificate to be invalidated:
- Serving a variety of material
- Error with certificate name mismatch
- Omitted intermediate certificate omitted intermediate certificate omitted intermediate certificate Certificate that has expired
- The certificate displayed does not correspond to the one that was installed.
- It is necessary that the domain displayed in the browser bar corresponds exactly tothe domain supplied when the certificate was registered in order for an HTTPS connection to be formed with that domain.
- You may be necessary to utilize one or two intermediate certificates, depending on the type of server you are using.
- This is something that many browsers will let you to verify under their Advanced Settings, but you can also use the SSL Shopper’sSSL Checker to obtain this information.
- A certificate that is different from the one you just installed will display since only a single certificate may be put on the same IP address and socket number at the same time.
Choosing a certificate
The process of selecting an SSL certificate might be confusing because not all providers provide the same sorts of certificates. To make the procedure more straightforward, you may refer to the table below, which lists the certificate options from six of the most prominent SSL suppliers. In most cases, if you want to stay with the same SSL provider for more than a year, you may save money by prepaying for two or three years in advance. A third-party reseller is usually the most cost-effective alternative, with the only caveat being the kind of customer service you may receive in exchange for your purchase.
- Identify the sorts of property you desire to protect (domain, sub-domain, and so on). Determine if you want security for a single property or for a collection of properties (wildcard or multi-domain)
- Once you’ve decided on the amount of protection you require
- Extended validation — HIGH
- Domain validation — LOW
- Organization validation — MEDIUM
The opinions stated in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Search Engine Land or its staff members. The authors on the staff are mentioned here.
New on Search Engine Land
Stephanie LeVonne is a Strategic Account Director at Conductor who has been in the search engine optimization field for more than seven years now.
In her work, Stephanie seeks to assist clients acquire greater insights on their organic performance and visibility via the use of technology-enabled solutions.
How to choose an SSL Certificate?
Learn how to select the most appropriate SSL Certificate. With the wide variety of SSL Certificates available, it may appear difficult to select the one that best meets your requirements. Because there is no difference between them in terms of security, you should learn more about the characteristics of SSL Certificates before picking which one to use and install on your server. First and foremost, you should be aware that SSL Certificates are distinguished by the following characteristics:
- Domain Validation SSL Certificates are the most straightforward to obtain and can be provided in a matter of minutes, making them ideal for small blogs and websites. SSL Certificates with Business Validation are appropriate for small, medium, and big businesses alike. These certificates necessitate the legal registration of the businesses that purchase them. Extended Validation SSL Certificates (EV SSL Certificates) are designed for enterprises and financial institutions that demand the highest level of client confidence. These certificates give the greatest level of confidence to users that the website belongs to a genuine company. Furthermore, EV certificates make it more difficult to launch phishing and other forms of online identity fraud attacks.
- SSL Certificates for a Single Domain—these are the least priced because they only safeguard a single domain. Wildcard SSL Certificates are the ideal option for protecting a single primary domain name as well as all / any number of sub-domains for it
- And If you have a large number of domains and subdomains that you want to secure with a single SSL Certificate, multi-domain SSL Certificates are the best solution for you to consider. Code Signing SSL Certificates—also known as code signing certificates—are designed for software developers and enterprises that create software. As a result, they are often a little more expensive than standard digital products since they are intended to prevent the infiltration of digital goods with malware or destructive code.
Choose your SSL Certificate depending on the required validation type and the number of domains it will be used for, and then proceed to examine the fundamental differences between the various SSL Certificate alternatives available. The three “C” key components of an SSL Certificate are as follows:
- Cost. Before you invest on an SSL certificate, make a rough estimate of your budget. If your website is complicated, the cost of a certificate will be higher. Convenience is another consideration. Depending on your needs, there are SSL certificates that may be granted quickly, as well as certificates that can only be obtained after a comprehensive assessment of your company’s legal registration, which might take up to one week. The amount of confidence in the validation process has a direct relationship with the speed of issue. It is important to remember that if you want a better degree of security guarantee, you will also be required to spend more, so keep this in mind while planning your SSL expenses.
When it comes to obtaining SSL Certificates, there are a number of extra characteristics to consider. These include the following:
- Additionally, when it comes to obtaining SSL Certificates, there are a number of other characteristics to consider.
Having assessed your requirements based on the features listed above, you are ready to acquire an SSL Certificate for your website. In the event you are still unsure, keep in mind that there are unique tools available to advise you and assist you in making the best decision possible. For your convenience, we’ve included a link to an online tool that will recommend the best SSL Certificates for your website and business:
- SSL Certificate Wizard—after answering a few questions, the program will provide you with suggestions on the best SSL Certificates based on your requirements.
Because the results typically contain many pricing ranges and certificate brands, you have the freedom to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. It is not as difficult as it appears to select the finest SSL Certificate. There are a variety of online resources available to assist you in making the best decision for you. However, after you’ve chosen the type of validation, the number of domains, and any extra features you want, you may pick an SSL Certificate on your own as well.
Learn more about SSL on SSLDragon’s Blog or download a free copy of the “From HTTP to HTTPS”ebook.
Top SSL Certificates Buyer’s Guide
If you’re planning to celebrate National Small Business Week by launching your own online business, you’ll need to consider about website security, which involves investing in a secure server certificate. Certificates for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections are most typically linked with e-commerce sites, both retail and service-oriented, although they are essential whenever two computers are communicating with each other via the Internet. Due to the fact that it’s essential to encrypting the data stream that runs between those two machines, and encryption is now considered standard practice for nearly any type of online transaction, Having an SSL certificate that is recognized by Google to manage your website’s encryption is also a prerequisite for guaranteeing that your website is not flagged as a potential threat to visitors by the search engine.
Conducting business via the internet would be hazardous and unreliable if the capacity to ensure that data is secure and legitimate was not available.
Furthermore, in 2014, Google revealed that the adoption of SSL will have a significant impact on a website’s search ranking, making it an important aspect in becoming recognized on the internet.
Google’s “HTTPS Everywhere” program is currently in full swing, and everyone with a web presence should consider obtaining an SSL certificate, but it is essentially necessary for e-commerce firms.
What Are My Options?
In order to understand how to obtain an SSL certificate and which kind is appropriate for you, it is necessary to first understand the three types of certificates that are now accessible. Despite the fact that many web hosting companies have certificate choices that they will push at you or provide as part of one-stop-shop bundles, only a handful of them truly force you to utilize such certificates. So look around since your alternatives should still be available to you. Despite the fact that all SSL certificates are used to encrypt data, there is no guarantee that the server on the other end is friendly, or even that it is the server with whom you expect to be communicating.
If you trust a third party and that third party trusts the SSL certificate, then you may trust both the certificate and the server that is displaying it to you, according to the reasoning.
SSL certificates may be divided into three types, which are as follows:
- A domain-validated (DV) certificate is one that has been validated by the domain owner. This type of SSL certificate, which may be obtained for free or at a low fee, such as Geotrust’s QuickSSL Premium option or RapidSSL’s offering, is appropriate for internal projects but not for the open web. When visiting websites that employ this type of certificate, proceed with great caution. You are usually better off clicking away from them as quickly as you can
- In fact, it is probably preferable not to click away at all. Certificate that has been validated by the organization (OV). In the case of enterprises and organizations, the certificate authority can simply verify that they are legitimate due to the fact that they already have some degree of authentication with a governing body. It is customary for the entity identified on the request to be contacted and requested to show evidence that the request is legitimate. Extended Validation (EV) Certificates are the very bare minimum level of SSL certificate that should be considered for a business website. SSL certificates at this level are the third and most trustworthy level available. The requirements for EV certifications that have been released are both severe and comprehensive. Requesting and verifying documentation to prove one’s identity, ability, and location of business is not uncommon. Prior to the issuance of the EV certificate, the identification of the legal body that operates the website is determined and made public on the internet. Additional benefits include the fact that most current web browsers will signal the usage of an Extended Validation Certificate (EV certificate) by displaying a greenUniform Resource Locator(URL) bar
Each level of SSL certificate is also available in two different variants. A single-domain certificate, as the name suggests, is used to secure only one website. As a result, it is often less expensive. The wildcard certificate, which is its cousin and allows you to secure many sub-domains, is often more expensive and allows you to cover more sub-domains. However, if you want an Extended Validation (EV) certificate, your only alternative is to get a single-domain certificate. This is owing to the increased scrutiny focused on the manner in which it is utilized and where it is used.
SSL Certificate Implementation
It is not sufficient to just click “purchase,” add an SSL certificate to your shopping cart, and then go to the checkout. If you wish to protect software, you will need to follow a certificate request method that is specific to the product you want to secure. There are detailed instructions for creating this request from all respectable SSL certificate suppliers, such as GeoTrust, GoDaddy, and Symantec, therefore it is worth your time to thoroughly go through them. This is especially true if you’re asking for an EV certificate, which is a time-sensitive process.
It might take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks to complete this task.
TLS vs. SSL
If you recently acquired an SSL certificate, you most likely installed it and went about your business as usual, confident in the knowledge that your website was more secure for your website visitors. However, the fact is that the SSL protocol has been deprecated for some years as a result of a number of unique security concerns. The phrase, on the other hand, has endured. SSL is, at its heart, a “handshake” protocol, which means that it is the way that two computers use to securely decide on the type of encryption they will use while interacting with one another, as well as the secret password they will exchange in order for it to operate.
- Fortunately, TLS (Transport Layer Security) is the name of the handshake protocol that has taken the place of SSL these days (TLS).
- TLS, which is a comparable but more secure follow-up to SSL, was introduced only a short time following SSL.
- Since then, TLS has remained the favored choice, and most modern browsers will not display a padlock icon if the SSL 2.0 or SSL 3.0 protocols are being utilized, as is the case today.
- The most important takeaway is that language may be deceptive at times since it evolves not just in response to changes in the sector, but also in accordance with the rules of common usage.
It’s important to remember that protocols are always changing; TLS is already at version 1.2 and will continue to evolve as time passes. Although a certificate is required, it is the web servers that determine the sort of encryption to use and the handshake protocols to use.
What to Avoid
As a result of the fact that it is fairly ordinary to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year on certificates, there is a strong temptation to utilize bargain-basement alternatives that guarantee the same degree of protection at a cheaper price. In fact, the use of 2048-bit certificates is frequently promoted as a selling feature. The simple reality is that anything below that threshold is no longer even recognized by Microsoft browsers as of January 1, 2017. In a matter of time, other browsers and systems will follow in the footsteps of Chrome.
- The true distinguishing characteristic is how much the rest of the world believes in the organization that issued the certificate.
- Certificates issued by big players are automatically considered trustworthy.
- The last thing you want to do is put your clients in this situation.
- In conclusion, shop around, but keep in mind that you typically get what you pay for.
- , created at:null, updated at: 2021-09-30T21:30:40.000000Z, first published at: 2021-09-30T21:30:40.000000Z, published at: 2021-09-30T21:30:40.000000Z, last published at: 2021-09-30T21:30:34.000000Z, first published at: 2021-09-30T21:30:40.000000Z, first published at: 2021
Get Our Best Stories!
The Most Popular SSL Certificate Authorities Reviewed (2021)
The internet has evolved into a more secure and privacy-preserving environment, with HTTPS being a regular feature of all websites. As a result, it is now more vital than ever for website administrators to obtain an SSL certificate from a recognized certificate authority. With our safe fully managed WordPress hosting, you can avoid the time-consuming process of finding, acquiring, and installing SSL certificates for your site(s). Regular SSL and wildcard SSL certificates are deployed for free automatically, saving you the headache of doing it manually.
Alternatively, if you want to handle everything yourself, check out our side-by-side comparison of the major certificate authorities listed below. It will assist you in determining which organization provides the SSL certificate that is most appropriate for your requirements.
What to Look Out for in a Certificate Authority
When it comes to selecting a Certificate Authority (CA), it all boils down to knowing what you want and which CA possesses that capability. To assist you in making your decision, the following are the primary categories of SSL certificates from which to choose:
- Only the domain is checked for legality, allowing for the issuance of certificates in a short period of time. Domain Validation (DV) A wildcard certificate can contain both the root domain and all of its sub-domains in a single certificate
- Extended Validation (EV) is distinguished by the presence of a green address bar in the browser’s address bar, as opposed to a red address bar in the browser’s address bar. Both the legal identity of the business or organization and the domain name must be checked for legality. When used with email and other communication tools, Unified Communications (UC) is used to encrypt the connection between the two parties. It is also a sort of Subject Alternative Name certificate, since it allows for the inclusion of many domains in a single certificate. One certificate might contain the root domain as well as associated domains that are connected together
- This is known as the Subject Alternative Name (SAN). A wildcard certificate is one that encompasses both the root domain and all of its sub-domains. In contrast to extended validation certificates, organization validation certificates (OV) do not have a green address bar. Organization validation certificates are used to verify the legal identification of a corporation or organization as well as the legitimacy of a domain name.
Other types of encryption that you may come across while browsing via various Certificate Authorities include the following:
- Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) encryption is the most widely used type of encryption and is available in three different sizes: 128-bit, 256-bit, and 2048-bit encryption. Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) — A government-mandated standard of encryption that is required for sites that must fulfill this condition. Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC) is the most powerful kind of encryption among those that are most widely employed
- It is also the most difficult to break.
The higher the bit rate of the encryption, the greater the level of security provided by the system. Despite the fact that ECC is more robust than RSA, an ECC 256-bit certificate is more secure than an RSA 2048-bit certificate, and vice versa. Between RSA and DSA, the primary distinction is that the former validates signatures more quickly than the latter, which is important since signatures are encrypted keys that are required throughout the process of generating an SSL certificate. RSA is also more time-consuming when it comes to generating signatures.
To begin, it is necessary to understand the distinctions between the most popular forms of certificates; however, it is also necessary to choose the specific sort of certificate you want.
Which Certificate Do I Need?
As a rough rule of thumb, the following are the categories of websites that are most frequently required to have each of the certificates listed above:
- Domain validation is required for any WordPress site, any website with a form, or any website that is not a WordPress site. Extended Validation is recommended for eCommerce, commercial, and organization websites, as well as any website that want to market itself as exceptionally trustworthy. Unified Communications– This is required for email servers, and it is also required for Microsoft Exchange. The subject alternative name can include email addresses or IP addresses, as well as a DNS name or URL if you have numerous domains that are all connected but are not necessarily sub-domains. Wildcards are used in WordPress Multisite networks that have been configured with subdomains. (With more information on utilizing Wildcard SSL for WordPress Multisite, see this article.) Business or group websites that need to seem trustworthy are candidates for organization validation.
Following your improved understanding of the type of SSL certificate you want, let’s look at which of the top Certificate Authorities can meet your encryption needs in the most efficient manner.
Top Certificate Authorities Reviewed
There are a plethora of Certificate Authorities available on the market, however these are the most often used. There are five factors to consider when evaluating each of them: pricing, diversity of certificate options available, guarantee that is included with certificates, interoperability across browsers and mobile devices, and features that are provided. All of these Certificate Authorities are responsible for issuing certificates that are both functional and secure. In order to avoid confusion, there is no category for security in the review.
- This page formerly includes reviews of SSL certificates from Symantec and GeoTrust
- However, Digicert has subsequently bought both of these companies and their products. GeoTrust SSL certificates (powered by Digicert) are still available for purchase. The information and warranty dollar amounts mentioned for each Certificate Authority are current as of the day this evaluation was published
- However, certain information may have changed since then.
However, Symantec and GeoTrust SSL certificates were previously reviewed in this post; however, Digicert has subsequently bought both of these companies. GEOTrust SSL certificates (powered by Digicert) are still available for purchase. It is believed that the information and warranty dollar amounts provided for each Certificate Authority were correct at the time of publication of this evaluation.
- You are welcome to get as many certificates as you desire at no additional cost. All renewals are free and can be done in an automated fashion
- Obtaining a certificate is a simple process. Compatibility with the majority of major browsers and mobile devices
- There are just three types of certificates available: DV, SAN, and UC. There are a number of strange devices and browser versions that aren’t supported
- There is no guarantee offered
- There are no more features
- There are none.
- Certs are only accessible in DV, SAN, and UC formats. There are a number of unusual gadgets and browser versions that are incompatible. The product comes with no guarantee. Aside from that, there are no extra features.
Comodo’s DV, wildcard, and EV certificates are all protected by an RSA 2048-bit encryption key. The encryption strength of UC certificates is 128-bit or 256-bit. Also noteworthy is that it is the only Certificate Authority mentioned in this study that provides a free trial for premium SSL certificates; however, the trial is only available for DV certificates. Aside from the free trial, there are four distinct types of certificates to choose from: DV, wildcard, EV, and UC (universal certificate).
A great feature of Comodo is that you may opt to increase your certificate’s warranty if the maximum amount is not already included in the certificate’s purchase price.
It doesn’t have any further features beyond from that and customer support, which is understandable given that it’s the most cheap choice available right after Let’s Encrypt.
- A DV certificate is available for a free trial period of 90 days. PCI and site scanning are included in the price of the certificate for one year. In the case of specific certifications, warranties ranging from $250,000 to $1,750,000 are offered. On certain of the certifications, you may choose to increase the warranty. In terms of price, it is the second most economical alternative. Compatibility with all major web browsers and mobile devices is guaranteed.
- There is a limit of one certificate per account for which scanning functions are provided. Only wildcard and extended validation (EV) certificates contain a trust logo for your website. It is possible that less common browser versions and mobile devices will not be compatible.
- Certificates are available in a number of formats. Warranty:
Digicert charges a mid-range price since it provides benefits for every certificate, such as a guarantee of $1,000,000, free re-issues, and a logo that may be displayed on your website to increase visitor trust. RSA 2048-bit, 128-bit, and 256-bit encryption are also supported by the software. SSL Plus (DV), EV, Multi-Domain (UC/SAN), EV Multi-Domain, and Wildcard Plus are the five distinct types of certificates that are now available: In spite of the fact that Digicert’s certificates are compatible with all major browsers and mobile devices, there may be certain versions or devices that aren’t supported but aren’t generally utilized.
- Reissues of certificates are provided at no cost. For all certificate kinds, a warranty of $1,000,000 is provided. Compatibility with all major web browsers and mobile devices is guaranteed. All certificates come with an infinite number of server licenses.
- It is possible that less common browser versions and mobile devices will not be compatible. To qualify for a certificate discount, you must join up for a minimum of two years.
- In addition to price, certificate variety, warranty, compatibility, features, and overall value are also factors to consider.
- Authority for Let’s Encrypt certificate signing:
- The Comodo Certificate Authority is comprised of the following: A certificate issued by Digicert Certificate Authority:
- Authority for Let’s Encrypt Certificates: A certificate authority such as Comodo: A certificate authority such as Digicert is:
- Authority for Let’s Encrypt Certificates:
- The Comodo Certificate Authority is comprised of: Digicert Certificate Authority (Digicert):
- Let’s Encrypt Certificate Authority:
- Comodo Certificate Authority: Digicert Certificate Authority:
- Authority for Let’s Encrypt certificate signing:
- The Comodo Certificate Authority is comprised of the following: A certificate issued by Digicert Certificate Authority:
- Authority for Let’s Encrypt Certificates: A certificate authority such as Comodo: A certificate authority such as Digicert is:
Choosing the Best Certificate Authority
As previously said, each Certificate Authority in this comparison evaluation provides safe SSL certificates, and which one you choose will be determined by your requirements. With order to assist you in your decision-making process, the following suggestions are based on the finest qualities of each Certificate Authority:
- You should consider Let’s EncryptorComodo if you are on a tight budget or have a simple website such as a personal WordPress blog, portfolio site, or small company website. If you want DSA, ECC, or the maximum degree of encryption, Digicertis the most suitable solution. When it comes to site checking for vulnerabilities and viruses, go no further than Comodo
- The warranties offered by Comodo and Digicertall are the best available. You should look into Digicert if you want a reasonably high guarantee at a reasonable price for DV, wildcard, or SAN certificates. Consider Digicert for unlimited server licenses and free certificate re-issuances
- Comodo and Digicertall provide their logos for you to use on your website to assist boost the confidence of your visitors
Overall, you must choose which type of certificate best suits your individual requirements as well as the characteristics you desire. Afterwards, you may select a Certificate Authority that covers everything you want at a price that is within your financial reach. Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to ensure that it is accurate and up to date. Tags: